Orange, Martyrs of

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The Martyrs of Orange is a group of 32 beatified religious women martyred at Orange, France, during the french revolution between July 6 and July 26, 1794. Two were cistercian nuns from Avignon; the others were from Bollène, near Avignon, and included 16 ursulines, 13 sacramentine nuns, and one Benedictine nun. For refusing to take the oath Liberté Égalité, the nuns of Bollène were expelled from their convents (Oct. 13, 1793), arrested, and held in La Cure prison in Orange. There these and other nuns formed a kind of religious community, chose a superior, and spent several hours daily in prayer and pious exercises until condemned for fanaticism and superstition. The first to die by guillotine was the Benedictine Suzanne Deloye (July 6). On July 7 Marie Suzanne de Gaillard, a Sacramentine, followed. The Ursulines Marie Anne de Guilhermier, Marie Anne de Rocher, Marie Gertrude de Ripert d'Alauzier, and Sylvie Agnès de Romillon died on July 9 and 10; and on July 11, three Sacramentines, Rosalie Clotilde Bès, Marie Elisabeth Pélissier, and Marie Claire Blanc, who were joined at the guillotine by Marie Marguerite d'Albarède, an Ursuline. Two more Sacramentines, Madeleine Talieu and Marie Cluse, died on July 12 with Marguerite de Justamond, a Cistercian, and Jeanne de Romillon, an Ursuline. The Ursulines Marie Anastasie de Roquard, Marie Anne Lambert, and Marie Anne Depeyre and the Sacramentines Elisabeth Verchière, Thérèse Faurie, and Anne Minutte suffered on July 13. On July 16 the guillotine claimed Marie Rose de Gordon, Marguerite Charransol, and Marie Anne Beguin-Royal, Sacramentines; Marie Anne Doux, Marie Rose Laye, and Dorothée de Justamont, Ursulines; and the Cistercian Madeleine de Justamont. On July 26 Marie-Madeleine de Justamont, Anne Cartier, Marie Claire du Bac, and Elisabeth Consolin, Ursulines, and Marie Marguerite Bonnet, a Sacramentine, died. The 32 were beatified on May 10, 1925.

Feast: July 9.

Bibliography: h. leclercq, Les Martyrs, 15 v. (Paris 190227) v. 12. j. baudot and l. chaussin, Vies des saints et des bienheureux selon l'ordre du calendrier avec l'historique des fêtes, ed. by the Benedictines of Paris, 12 v. (Paris 193556); v. 13, suppl. and table générales (1959) 7:209215.

[m. lawlor]